Friday, May 29, 2009

Catching Up

Looks like it has taken me almost an entire week to post all of the Memorial Day memories that we will have from this year. This is part 3 of a 3 part series. On Sunday of last week we packed up and headed to the lake for a short visit. Anna Jane packed her own bag. She included all of the essentials, but also made sure to have about 5 pairs of winter pajamas. A smarter choice would have been rainboots, because the storms were quite torrential. It didn't drown out the fun, though.

We headed straight outside when we got there. Not warm enough for swimming, but perfect for a paddle boat ride and a few plastic fishing rods. Barbie and Batman fishing rods, of course.

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We happened to watch How to Eat Fried Worms the night before. Don't worry, she didn't go through with it.
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Wilson giggled too much to look convincing.
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As it turns out, the worms must have been quite tasty. At least the fishies liked them.
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Anna Jane insisted that she kept catching the same fish, over and over. They were all the same color. Wilson felt that the activity had become a bit redundant. Or gross.
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Henry thought it over and agreed with Wilson. Yes. What a silly activity.
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A make-believe boat ride was more his style.
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Sunday night kicked off with (what else?) dinner. Papa grilled out and Elizabeth, Kent, and Will joined us.
If Will had paid any attention to the previous post, he would have known not to mess with Anna Jane when she is focused on her dessert.

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Tuckered out...

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But ready to go again on Monday! Finally a day to swim!! In no way does this mean that it was any warmer or less overcast than the previous day. But Anna Jane got a new swim suit. I guess this is more of a "bathing" suit. Not sure this would hold up to any serious swimming. And up until this week, she has always had ONE piece, ruffly suits bought in the baby's section at the local children's boutique (we call it Target). But she has been asking for a suit "that shows her tummy." Since this one still had ruffles and a substantial amount of fabric, I surprised her with one.
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She was very pleased. Wilson, on the other hand, didn't not have any specifications regarding his swim attire. As evidenced below...
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Long live the Underoo!

Daddy and Henry didn't buy into any of this swimming nonsense, so they relaxed on the boat.
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And Nana relaxed on the porch on the beautiful green swing, underneath the Bocock sign.
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And the ducks kids swam.
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We drove home in the rain...VERY TIRED and full of memories, family, and yes...food.
Until the next trip...
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Thursday, May 28, 2009

OL Man

My Uncle Jim is 70.
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Or OL.
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As in ol' man.

There is nothing like a milestone birthday and a holiday to bring out the FOOD!!! I mean, FAMILY!!! We gathered in Jamestown for a birthday celebration with lots of my dad's family. Even the ones that weren't there were talked about enough that we feel like they were there. We had North Carolina represented in a big way, but also had Michigan and Texas to celebrate with.

This is definitely a prized photo. There were 4 generations represented at the party, including the stinkers in this pic. We missed my nephew Matthew in this generation pic, so we hope he's at the next get-together.
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Here is the birthday boy, shocked when someone told him how old he actually is!
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Boys will be boys
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will be boys
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will be boys
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And one sweet girl
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And a sweet husband, too
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There was a lot of food, of course. Papa couldn't get enough. When the desserts were brought out, he exclaimed "My four favorite things!!!" But please know that banana pudding, strawberry shortcake, peach cobbler, and pecan pie are not more important to him than his precious family. Well, maybe the banana pudding is.
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Anna Jane accidentally brushed her ENTIRE ARM across the top of the strawberry shortcake. Come on. An accident? Really?
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It didn't seem to bother her.
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But realizing that pulling her chair up to the dessert table didn't keep others from partaking...that did bother her.
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Carol and Calvin md 121 brought a new iced tea recipe that I will share when she sends it to me. Very refreshing and full of bright green mint leaves. Perfect for summer.
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While Little James waits for the next party, we will hope that a wedding or new baby or birthday party will appear on our calendar so that we can get together again.
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And I will leave you with an idea of what makes the list of my favorite things in life. I definitely belong with this family.
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Thanks, Aunt Lib!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

FULL

We had a very full Memorial Day. Full of family, full of food, full of traveling...all fun, delicious, and worth it.

The weekend started with dinner friends

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Houston loved the cheese dip

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and the popsicles

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Henry loved the beer lemonade

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Could someone please feed this child? Let's play "Count the Ribs"

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Wyatt still doesn't understand why he didn't get a hotdog

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Hotdogs were definitely a great choice for the weekend o' cookouts. But the best part of the meal was the cheese dip...It's a recipe for Mexican queso, served at EVERY friendly neighborhood taco joint. I found it here and it is the exact same white, creamy, super-delicious cheese that my nachos drown in when we used to go out to dinner.


1 package WHITE AMERICAN cheese...you have to unwrap every slice, but worth it. Stack the slices and cut into chunks. Melt this for a minute at a time in the microwave until stir-able. Thin with milk until desired consistency. Then add chopped jalapenos...as many as you want. You can stick them in a food processor so you get small bits, or chop with a paring knife for chunks. Find them in a jar in the hispanic isle of the local grocer.

So yummy. Serve them (to the Campbell family when you invite us for dinner) with tortilla chips.

Updates on the rest of the weekend to follow!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pig

The latest edition of Southern Living arrived in my mailbox this morning. Well, I guess it arrived yesterday afternoon, but I retrieved it this morning. Before I could get through the Editor's letter, entitled Keeping it Southern, I knew I had something to add to the blog (and yes, I do read the editor's letter. at least in this mag...Eleanor Griffin used to be the editor of the most fabulous Cottage Living magazine until it was discontinued last year. She has returned to Southern Living and I do find that the style of the magazine is much more bright and colorful and fresh than it used to be...the sl of my mom's subscription when I was young always seemed very brown, boring and filled with ads...).
Eleanor's 2nd "fresh way" to help you keep it Southern this summer is to throw away the "tried and true" method of admitting "your favorite barbecue comes from a restaurant and not your backyard." Contained within the magazine is an article entitled "BBQ 101." It "shows you how easy it is to be a backyard pitmaster. Well, his barbeque can't beat ours, and requires no backyard pit (or backyard at all), so here it is.


BBQ Pork
Boston butt (bone in pork shoulder 5-7 lbs)
Preheat oven to 325
Wrap pork in aluminum foil, place in large roasting pan and put in center of preheated oven.
Cook 1 hour per pound. Remove from oven , open foil and cool 30 minutes
Remove bones (they should pull right out) and all visible fat
Chop cooked meat and return to pan. Pour a little BBQ sauce over meat and reheat for 20 minutes

NC Vinegar Sauce
2 c vinegar (half distilled and half cider)
3 T ketchup
2 T brown sugar
4 t coarse salt
1 T Texas Pete
1 to 2 t hot red pepper flakes
1 to 2 t black pepper.
Combine all ingredients in bowl and whisk until the salt and sugar dissolve.
Mix sauce with chopped meat.

Slaw
Chop cabbage finely
Pour NC vinegar sauce and let marinate

I am not about to enter a debate on which is better barbecue...beef or pork. To me, they are two different meals. This method is really yummy and really easy. It can be made ahead and is great to serve to a crowd (we served it at Wilson's baptism lunch a few years ago). My parents often serve it at big gatherings at the lake.

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YUM
Sounds like a Memorial Day meal to me!

MISSON: IMPOSSIBLE ORGANIZATION

I am trying to clean up my house!!! The old saying goes, "it will get worse before it gets better," right? Well based on the current status, my house will look FABULOUS when I'm done.
While going through a box in the basement in an effort to throw away things, I certainly found several things that were not only thrown away, but moved (needlessly) upstairs to join the clutter that I'm supposed to be weeding out. But bear with me, this story has a happy ending. I found this:

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It's just a small, wooden tray. Smaller than a piece of printer paper. I'm not sure where it came from. I decided to enlist it in the fight against clutter. One for me, and one for Dave. I could transform them into catchalls for our keys, sunglasses, phones, etc. So here is how it happened:

I bought paper (can you guess which one is mine?)...

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I painted my tray black. Dave's will be a cream color if I get around to it.

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(stay tuned for quite a few projects completed with the help of this brave polar explorer fabulous can of shiny black paint)

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Then I pasted the paper down with Mod Podge. I brushed one coat over the entire tray to seal the paint. Then I added about 3 more coats onto the paper to help it withstand key scratches and inevitable cell phone/wallet/sunglasses/burts bees bonks.

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TADAA!!!
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Now the challenge becomes keeping the counter clean enough that I can find the tray to store my stuff in.